B&W makes some of the best speakers on earth. That’s a fact. The company also makes the amazing sounding, but weird looking, Zeppelin iPod dock. It’s needless to say that Bowers & Wilkins knows audio, but I’m doubtful about the new $399 Zeppelin Mini.
I know that digital audio processing has advanced a lot over the last few years. Components are now cheaper and smaller while, amps have increased in power while maintaining a reasonable size. So I think it’s the price that’s bothering me. B&W has always been in the upper echelon of audio equipment and even the $600 Zeppelin seemed a little down-market for the company. But the new Zeppelin Mini is only $399 which leaves me wondering what was compromised.
The new Zeppelin Mini does do some nice tricks. It now has a USB port so you can sync and charge your iDevice right on the dock. You can also hook up other audio sources via an analog input but chances are it won’t sound as good as an iPod through the all-digital Dock Connector port.
Maybe the new Zeppelin Mini sounds great. It probably sounds better than a random speaker dock from Best Buy. But is it B&W quality? That’s what I want to know.